OK! magazine has beaten rival Hello! to a deal with ITV over a masthead TV programme.
ITV has chosen OKTV! over Hello!’s masthead project for a series of programmes to launch later this year. The series has been commissioned by ITV’s controller of daytime, Dianne Nelmes, who has been discussing pilots from both the celebrity weeklies for the past year.
She says: “The decision was close, but in the end we felt the OK! brand and range of celebrity relationships was closer to the ITV audience. This is an exciting venture, which will bring a fresh and glamorous magazine format to TV.”
Hello!, owned by Hello Limited, has come under pressure from Northern and Shell’s OK! recently in the areas of circulation and celebrity exclusives featured in the magazine. OK! has already signed up Manchester United footballer David Beckham and fiancee Victoria Adams of the Spice Girls for exclusive celebrity photographs.
In the most recent Audit Bureau of Circulation figures, Hello! was down 11.1 per cent year on year to 510,552, while its rival climbed from 226,504 to 400,701.
OKTV!’s pilot programme featured TV presenter Samantha Norman, film critic Barry Norman’s daughter. However, ITV would not comment on whether she would feature in the series.
News emerged in March that Hello! and OK! were pitching ideas to ITV about a series based on their magazines (MW March 18 ).